For anyone who still thinks vaccines are causing an epidemic of autism, please take a deep breath and open up to the possibility that such a theory might be completely wrong.
The latest verdict comes from a special tribunal. A 3-judge panel has ruled against plaintiffs who were seeking damages, claiming their children had developed autism because of preservatives in the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine. We have a brief version of the story on our website.
This isn’t quite as dramatic as the Darwin trial in Dover, PA. There was no jury, no courtroom theatrics. Instead, it’s a court that exists only to hear complaints under the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. But, the judges, who are not part of the public health infrastructure, reviewed thousands of pages of studies and other documents. It sounds like they ruled pretty conclusively. No link between autism and the vaccine.
This is not a surprise. Every time an independent group has taken a look at this issue, they’ve come to the same conclusion. And earlier this week, one of the British authors of a study that has fueled the anti-vaccine movement was revealed to have faked some of his data (thanks to dogged reporting by The Times of London).
Opponents of vaccines have evolved their theory over the years. Many now say, it isn’t just one vaccine, it’s the fact that so many are given at such a young age. (Moving target?) Still, I haven’t seen any credible evidence to suspect the vaccines.